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Turkey rounds up Islamic State suspects in dawn raids

Turkish authorities have arrested more than 1,300 suspects since late last month [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 August, 2015

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Police say they have rounded up 12 suspected Islamic State militants, and a would-be Kurdish suicide bomber, as authorities continue a security crackdown.

Turkish authorities have arrested at least a dozen suspected members of the Islamic State group.

The suspects were rounded up on Wednesday in dawn raids in Ankara, Istanbul, Hatay province near the Syrian border and the province of Kirikkale, the official Anatolia news agency reported.

In a separate operation, police say they arrested a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who was suspected of planning a suicide attack in the majority Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

 

The authorities had announced on Tuesday the arrest of 23 foreign nationals, including women and children, who were seeking to cross to Syria to join IS.

The suspects were from China, Indonesia, Russia and Ukraine, Anatolia said.

Turkey is currently pressing a two-pronged "anti-terrorism" offensive against the IS group in Syria and PKK in northern Iraq and the southeast of Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said "effective operations" have been carried out against IS extremists, even though Turkey has so far concentrated its campaign mainly against the PKK.

Ankara, long criticised for failing to halt the flow of extremists across its border with Syria, has also promised to begin strikes in the coming days against IS fighters in Syria alongside US forces who have now started arriving at Turkey's southern Incirlik air base.

Turkish authorities said last week they had arrested more than 1,300 people since late last month nationwide that targeted the PKK as well as IS and the Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front, the DHKP-C.

However the overwhelming majority of those arrested so far have been from the PKK.

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